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February 14, 1985 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

ARTS'
The Michigan Daily Thursday, February 14, 1985 Page 6
Duran Duran: Most hated band at '

I

By Beth Fertig
oday's music market is flooded
T with many strong, moneymaking
personalities. With heavy MTV ex-
posure and a healthy record industry,
the American public is now acutely
aware of who's in the limelight and
when. But if sales are meant to tell us
who this public loves and listens to,
wouldn't it be interesting to ask them
about who they hate?
Several University students were
polled randomly to get some response

to this question. They were asked,
generally, what bands or individuals in
popular music they hate and/or, would
like to see banished from the airwaves.
There were no truly surprising an-
swers, for of course, all the big money-
makers were mentioned; but the
responses themselves were interesting.
Michael Jackson, Prince, and Duran
Duran were the three most popular
choices. Basically, people are sick of
hearing about these artists. Of Jackson,
students exclaimed that they were
"tired of the whole thing." Said one
LS&A junior, "They play him up so

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much with the tour and the expensive
tickets - it's really too extravagant.
He's not a well-rounded performer like
Prince." There was a great deal of
comparison between these two artists
Among the students. While some felt
that Jackson was hype but Prince was
art, there were others who tended to
disagree. Said one student, "I think his
music's inane." Another person
remarked that they just didn't like his
style.
The "new wave" band Duran Duran
was mentioned by many people, and for
various reasons. This band usually
seemed to generate stronger feelings of
dislike than the previously mentioned
artists who seemed to merely bore
listeners. Said one LS&A senior, in a
frenzied explanation, "They stink!
They are absolutely the worst band I've
heard in my entire life. I'd rather hear
Sid Vicious, if he came back, or the
Psychedelic Furs than ten seconds of
Duran Duran! ", Other people disliked
the band's image and commercial ap-
peal.
Heavy Metal music on the whole got a
bum rap from many students. Several
said that it was not music, but noise.
One student remarked that she
"couldn't see the point in it." Another
flatly stated that he'd like to see the
band Krokus "destroyed forever."
Other head-banging bands like Black
Sabbath and Twisted Sister were com-
mented upon as "loud and obnoxious."
An LS&A freshman was annoyed by
this whole particular genre of music,
explaining that "a lot of the music
today is getting away from what it
should be."
As for personalities, Billy Idol
seemed to generate the most revulsion
among students. One found Idol
"disgusting", and remarked that the
singer's "personal habits are
disgusting," as well. Another student
found the man "kind of obnoxious." The
band Journey was also disliked by one
student due to their pop sound and the
fact that "Steve Perry's really ugly."
Students weren't the only people
questioned about their musical tastes.
Professor Geyer of the History depar-
tment, an avid listener of WCBN,
remarked that he hates "bubblegum
music and head-bangers," as the whole
heavy metal scene isn't his forte.
Philosophy professor Sarah Conly ob-
jected to "Kiss, those people that paint
themselves." She also found Foreigner

4

4

Kiss may have disposed of its make-up, but its music has not yet changed.
While some Ann Arbor high schoolers tend to embrace their music, 'U'
students tend to think of it as dogfood. Billy Idol (inset), with his costume
and music, makes it excusable to be confused by the boundaries between
punk and heavy metal.

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revolting because of their "adolescent
lyrics."
On the more "professional" end of
things, imput was obtained from
several record store employees. These
are people who have had experience
dealing with consumer taste, and
whose own taste, for the most part, had
become very specific. Jim Erwin, of
Schoolkids, had a list of grievances
against the popular music scene. When
asked what bands he hated most, he
replied that "Duran Duran is an ob-
vious choice," and that, "There should
be a fifteen year moratorium on The
Doors until women stop throwing their
bodies at this dead carcus." Erwin
went on to say that he disliked "rap"
music because all of the twelve inch
singles sound the same. "People like
George Clinton really knew how to
play," he declared. As for Pop music on
the whole, he said that he doesn't like
anything that's sold over two million
copies.The popular groups were objec-
tionable, he concluded, because, "if it
has some kind of outstanding quality,
someone will like it and someone will
hate it."
At Discount Records, employees'
tastes were equally discriminating.
Saleswoman Marie disliked many

popular names such as Prince, the
Rolling Stones, Styx ,and Tina Turner;
explaining that it's "a bunch of hype
and sounds bad. It's contrived and too
commercial." She also was disgusted
with what she felt many of today's ar-
tists are propagating. "It's too sleazy,"
she said, "especially if you're female
and you've got to live with it."
Jim Leonard, the manager of
Discount Records was able to somehow
classify his pet peeves into three main
categories: Germans, Australians, and
Canadians. "Germans have the
grossest bands," he said with disgust.
"Australians are second. You can't get
too much worse than the Scorpions." As
for American culture's perception of
the music scene, he said that it's all
"aimed at cultivationg our stupidity.
David Lee Roth is the epitome of this."
Employees at Music Mart, Wazoos,
and Record & Tape Exchange had
grievances against everything from
Ozzy Ozbourne's "cruelty to pigeons"
to the "manufactured music" of Duran
Duran. One assistant manager resen-
ted the band Journey for still being
popular. At campus stations WCBN and
WJJX, the DJ's -raised complaints
against Prince and heavy metal music.
So what does this leave one to draw as a

conclusion about today's music?
Professors Allen Britton and George
Cavender of the School of Music aren't
entirely sure that they have an apswer.
When questioned, they replied that they
had withdrawn from popular music
several years ago, but explained why.
Britton's critique of today's music was
that he "couldn't tell the difference
between one singer and another" and
that he couldn't comprehend what they
were singing. However, both he and
Cavender emphasized that they don't
understand this music well enough to
hate it. They compared rock stars to
"children dressed up and jumping up
and down while making faces." Yet,
they were sure that this sounded as bad
to them as the jazz of their day did to
their grandmothers; or the Spartan
war songs did to Socrates in Plato's
Republic, for that matter. What
basically caused wonder to these men
was the marketability of pop music.
They feel that it is now all catered to
thirteen year-olds. Said Britton, "the
money and technology has changed the
capacity of reaching the audience. The
money that comes in is fantastic."
Professor Britton added that "under-
standing music is :a trick. You have to
be familiar with the idiom." He ex-
plained that many people don't realize
this, and therefore don't like many kin-
ds of music because of this lack of un-
derstanding.
So what is it about popular music that
people dislike? Obviously, the biggest
money-makers are loved by enough4
people to make the money, while hated
by a great number of others, as well.
Nobody's going to dislike something
they haven't heard of. But look at
groups like U2, R.E.M., or Big Country,
which weren't mentioned by anybody
questioned. Although this was far from
a scientific method of polling, what one
could conclude from this research is
that while these groups are doing well,
they obviously aren't doing as well as
they could be.

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